We decided to begin our second day in Maglie, by seeing some of its sights. Then, in the afternoon, we could take a little drive to one of the neighboring towns, if we wished. So, after a lovely breakfast, we set out for the Duomo, or the Chiesa della Collegiata. One spots the beautiful Campanile of the Duomo before it’s even possible to see the church itself. This structure, 48 meters high, towers over everything around it. The Duomo itself was built in the late 1800’s, on the site of two previous buildings. This is a beautiful church! The main altar is truly a work of art! It was carved and painted by the artist Emanuele Orfano. As we explored a few of the side streets, near the Duomo, we wandered upon the local mercato, or market. I couldn’t resist a quick look around.Walking along Via Trento e Triste, we soon arrived at Piazza Tamborino, a public square with a charming fountain in its center.The family whose name was given to the piazza still lives in a building, on the square. They had a private garden, across the street from their palazzo, which they gave to the city of Maglie, and is now a public park, Villa Tamborino, complete with grottoes, manicured gardens, and play areas. A short walk past Piazza Tamborino will bring you to the Chiesa di Santa Maria Addolorata.Our next stop was Palazzo Ruberti, and the Civic Museum of Paleontology and Paletnology “Decio de Lorentiis.” The museum itself is small, but worth a short visit, while in town.Whatever was behind this Egyptian-style door is no long in business, but I was intrigued. We decided to hop into our car (not the one pictured above), and head for the town of Galatina, as it was close (about twenty-five minutes away), and according to everyone that we spoke to, housed a church that was a must-see, when in this area.The Basilica di Santa Caterina d’Alessandria has to be one of the most beautiful spaces that I have ever seen! There is a strict “NO PHOTO” policy, inside of the church. But, that is understandable once you enter. Almost every inch of wall space (and that includes the columns) is covered with frescoes. The effect is breathtaking! If ever being in a space could move someone to tears, this is the place! I really can’t say enough about how powerful of an experience it was for me, as well as for Susan, who is a practicing Buddhist, and yet was almost overcome by what she saw here.
We thought we’d fit in one more stop before returning to Maglie, so we headed over to the nearby town of Nardo, for lunch and a quick stroll around.
One of the first things that we saw, when we entered the town, was the lovely Tempio de L’Osanna, which was built in 1603. This small city charmed me! La Fontana del Toro, or the Fountain of the Bull, was done in 1930 by the local artist Michele Gaballo, to celebrate the Puglia pipeline, which brought fresh water to the area.The Guglia dell’Immacolata, 1769, is one of Nardo’s main monuments. It honors the people of the city and their will to survive, following an earthquake in 1743, which destroyed much of the area. The Basilica Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta is the main church of the city. It was built in 1080, on top of the ruins of an older church. The Castello Acquaviva now houses the Municipal Offices of the city of Nardo. We leisurely made our way back to Maglie. Dinner was at Donna Lisa, a family-run establishment, where the food was delicious, but the portions were a little on the large size, at least for me. I ordered pasta with anchovies, pignoli, and fennel ferns. It was wonderful!
Next up: Our last day in Maglie, and a visit to the seaside city of Gallipoli!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear. If you enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from bella Puglia, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!